30 May 2023
The UK government is backing Birkenhead Park's bid to win UNESCO World Heritage status. The park has been added to the UK Government’s ‘Tentative List’ with the aim of joining global landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and the Galápagos Islands
It is one of five new sites from across the UK and Overseas Territories added to the Tentative List meaning they are now part of a seven site list to be put forward by the Government for inscription on the illustrious list.
The Tentative List is published around every ten years by the UK Government. It sets out the sites it feels have the best chance of succeeding and will now work with local authorities and devolved administrations to develop their bids.
Birkenhead Park, which opened in 1847, was a pioneering project to bring greenery to urban environments and provided a blueprint for municipal planning that has influenced town and city parks across the world, including New York’s Central Park.
Rob Belcher, Birkenhead Park General Manager (World Heritage) said: "This is an important first step towards gaining World Heritage recognition for Birkenhead Park, and is a prerequisite to being nominated for consideration by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. There will certainly be much work to be done in preparing for a successful future nomination but for the time being we are extremely happy to celebrate achieving this significant milestone."
Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Manager said: "We are thrilled and excited to see the beautiful Birkenhead Park take the next step on its journey to becoming a World Heritage Site. The park has really embraced its heritage having been rewarded with Green Flag Award and Green Heritage Site Accreditation. There could be a no more worthy addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List than the world's first publicly funded park. We wish all involved, every success"
UNESCO’s World Heritage Site system offers a fantastic opportunity for cultural and natural heritage sites to gain international recognition and promote themselves on a global stage.
If successful, the seven sites would join the 33 other World Heritage Sites already based in the UK including Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall.